Take it for what it’s worth, it’s Spring Training. But Spring Training is baseball, and the Houston Astros played a great game of baseball in their Spring Training opener against the Atlanta Braves. At least offensively it was a great game.
Just about everything we could’ve wanted to see happen, happened. Dexter Fowler made a strong statement batting leadoff in his debut for Houston, going 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs. All of the Astros top prospects made positive impacts as well. Preston Tucker, Robbie Grossman and Carlos Correa all notched hits while Jonathan Singleton and George Springer both took a walk. While these may seem like small, inconsequential stats, it really is the small things that count.
With speed being an increasingly abundant commodity on the young Astros, top prospect Springer went 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts and Delino Deshields Jr. added another steal immediately after being subbed in as a pinch hitter.
The positives are all there, and for a team like the Astros, as I said all of last year, it’s the positives that must be the primary focus.
Two of the biggest problems the Astros had last year were closing out games and strikeouts. Well, both categories showed improvement in their first Spring Training exhibition. While their 10 strikeouts may seem like a hefty amount, coupling it with five walks still feels like a step in the right direction.
Chia-Jen Lo made a huge statement at the end of the game as well, setting down the Braves in order while striking out the last two batters to close out the game.
A win is a win, whether it be in Spring Training or not. The importance of confidence can never be understated either, especially on a team like the Astros. Well, there’s no better way to build confidence then to come out and pick up the first possible win you can. And that’s exactly what the Astros did.